The worst dating advice ever

This letter writer asked his friends what he should do about a girl he liked. Their take? To announce it on social media. 

Our elder tries to help unravel the mess.


Dear EWC

So, there is this girl I really like. She is the most perfect, amazing, smart girl with the most stunning looks. Well, the problem is that she is a senior in high school this year and she will be going off to college soon while I’m stuck at high school for another year. So, I get worried that I will never see her again and I know I will never be able to forgive myself if I don’t tell her how I feel before she leaves but I have no way of contacting her to tell her. So, I asked one of my friends to see what I should do and she told me that I should just start rumors about it and hopefully she will get word of it. So, I do exactly that. I’ve made social media posts about it and I’ve talked to people I’ve never even talked to about it just so she will find out I have feelings for her. 

It was all going good until this one person found out who Is jealous of me and wants to ruin everything that makes me happy. I’m not sure if he will do anything or not but I’m pretty sure that he will since he’s done things like that before. This one time he told another girl I liked at that time that I was stalking her. What he told her was not true at all. Now this other girl won’t even talk to me even when I tried to explain to her that it wasn’t true at all. I just don’t want the same thing to happen with this new girl I like. I like her a lot and I’ve spent a lot of time with it that if she does end up hating me for something that isn’t true, I just might not be able to take it.


Nick replies

I think you have been going about this all the wrong way. 

Your first mistake was asking your friends what you should do and then simply running with their advice before thinking it through. Your friends, you see, are still trying to navigate romance themselves. Their advice is no more solid or sound than if you asked me for advice on building a spacecraft to take you to Mars (Hint: don’t ask. I am not an engineer and would not have any solid, useful advice to give you). And in the case of your crush on this senior, neither do your friends really.

Your second mistake was to execute their awful advice. You put a lot of effort “getting the word out” through social media and people who don’t even know you (remember, you admitted to speaking with people you don’t really know). You spread around your feelings in the hope that word would reach her. Really? You would have been safer if you put a note in a bottle and threw it in the ocean, hoping it would wash up on shore where she was sunbathing.

Why do I say you would have been safer? You at least could have controlled the message without worrying that somebody who doesn’t like you or who thinks ill of you, might be the one who gets the word to her and subsequently twists your words into something creepy. Come to think about it, that’s kind of what this one guy who you think has it in for you, has threatened to do. And did before with another girl you had liked in the past. tbh, you lost control of your message and handed that control over to strangers. That’s not a good move ever to do. You always want to control your own words and not have someone else put their spin on them.

Your third mistake has been in not building up your own confidence to express your own feelings and speak for yourself. Instead of concocting this round-about way of getting word to her. You need to go for it yourself.

When I was a high school senior a really cute and bright girl transferred to my school and was in most of my classes. All us guys talked about her but no one had the self-confidence to talk with her. Prom was coming up. One day at lunch I couldn’t take the endless bravado at my lunch table about who was going to ask her out, so I simply walked over to her table, asked to speak with her privately and asked her to prom. Sure, I took a risk. Sure, I expected a big fat no and sure I knew the other lunch table guys would mock me for thinking I had a shot with her. But I figured it was all worth it in case she did say yes, which she did. If I hadn’t gone for it, I would never have known. If I sent her messages and people to hint around that I wanted to ask her, she may have thought I was a bit immature if I couldn’t speak for myself and who knows how they might have twisted my message?

I’ve heard plenty of female co-workers at lunch discuss what turns them off about a guy. One of the repetitive items on their list of turn offs is a guy who can’t speak for himself. The conversation goes something like this: “If he can’t ask me out himself, he really isn’t that into me to begin with.

You’ve managed to do an awful amount of detective work so far in uncovering channels to get word to her. Why not simply work as hard in finding out how to contact her directly? Why not get her number or twitter handle or even her address? That way at least it will be you expressing your feelings to her, not through somebody else.

My advice is to leave everyone else out of your love life. There’s nothing wrong with talking with your buddies about who likes whom and all that. But you want to be the one who acts, not one who simply puts their half-baked advice into action instead of your acting.

My second piece of advice is that even though I agree with your assessment that she will be heading off to college in a couple months and most likely there isn’t much of a future for the two of you but you should still pursue her. Simply put, her interests will be vastly different by October and you should be living the life of a high school senior, enjoying your final year yourself. However, if she should respond and want to get together with you before she heads off to college, you could have a wonderful couple months together, months that will build your confidence and hone your dating skills for the next young lady who catches your eye.

I hope this advice makes sense to you. If any of it doesn’t, let me know.  

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